Roundup: Egypt's new government sworn in

March 8, 2011 12:17 pm 

CAIRO, March 8 — Egypt's new cabinet, led by Prime Minister Essam Sharaf, was sworn in on Monday before Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

The new cabinet included six new faces in ministries of interior, justice, foreign affairs, culture, manpower and immigration as well as petroleum.

Two members from the opposition are Monir Fakhri Abdel-Nour, minister of tourism from Wafd Party and Gouda Abdel-Khaliq el- Sayed, minister of social security from Tagammu party.

Four ministers from former government under Ahmed Nazif, kept their posts in the ministries of international cooperation and planning, electricity and energy, environment, and state ministry for military production.

Other 15 ministers from caretaker Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq's government will continue in the newly caretaker government that carried 25 members other than the deputy of the prime minister Yehia El Gamal.

Tantawi, head of the supreme council of armed forces that took the power of the country for the transition period after ousting the former ruling regime on Feb. 11, met with the new ministers and discussed the importance of combating corruption and achieving social equality among people.

Tantawi further stated that the new ministers will handle all people's demands and find suitable solutions to their problems as soon as possible.

He also stressed the significant role of people's participation in the process of voting over the constitutional amendment referendum.

Sharaf urged the youth to push forward the economic and social development cycle stressing their civilized influence in the protests. He advised youth to stay away form distorting the public figures which leads to negative social impact.

He also confirmed that the role of Egyptian women will be strengthened in the coming period with a committee for women under the supervision of the cabinet to take part in the country's progress.

He also called on Egyptian abroad to participate in the prosperity of their country.

The newly appointed prime minister asserted that Egypt has a free economy in the right direction in accordance with the social justice and that many partners from different countries desired to help with the economic reforms.

The first meeting for the new cabinet will be held before the end of this week to discuss methods of bringing life to normalcy, legitimate demands of people and providing the basic needs, state- run MENA agency reported.

Sharaf joined the protests since the beginning of the uprising to demand for political and economic change in Tahrir Square, the epic center of the 18-day nationwide demonstrations that hit the country and ousted the ruling regime.

In 2004, Sharaf was appointed as minister of transport in former President Hosni Mubarak's government but he resigned in 2006.

Sharaf's appearance after Friday prayers was very well received by gathering of protests who celebrated the resignation of former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq quitted on Thursday after 33 days in his post.

The public believed that Shafiq's interim government couldn't tackle their demands especially regaining the security or the democratic reforms as he was part of the toppled system.

Sharaf pledged to respond to the crowds' demands for democratic changes. "I will leave my place and join the lines of protestors when I can't bring your demands into effect," he said. (PNA/Xinhua) scs/LOR/ebp

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